First blogpost ever!

Ohhhh the pressure. I actually don’t think I have ever written a blogpost before in my life, and here I am, building a website that I decided should have a blog. And now I’m supposed to put stuff into this blog.

Easy way out would be to write “First post, wohoo!”, call it a day, and tell myself that I’ll become a better blogger someday in the future. But then I realized, that maybe in the future there will be some weirdos out there like me, that enjoy scrolling ALL the way to the beginning of a blog, just to see how it all started… And maybe there should be at least something out of value to find for those people!

So here we go, a quick reminder for all of us, because we probably all need to get reminded of this more often.

In the past month or so, I have been “suffering” from an overuse injury in my right elbow, which was caused by excessive amounts of spiking in a way too short of a time period. This meant, that I for a while had to take a pause from full on games, as well as practices that would involve any type of spiking, serving several balls in a row or hitting several balls in a row at people. In other words, I was somewhat limited in my abilities to practice.

(Sidenote: I will in the future write a blogpost about how temporary limitations in your praticing abilities might actually be very good for your beach volleyball career, but for now, I’ll try to be a good blogger and stay on topic…!)

So during my limitations, I of course was frustrated. I looked around at all these people around me with fully functional elbows, and thought about how lucky they get to be for being able to practice and play like normal, while I have to work on figuring out what is wrong with my elbow and how to fix it. I just really, really, REALLY wanted to be functional, just like them. Yet at the same time, I realized noone out of these people were walking around cheering for the fact that their elbows were healthy.

I’m sure you recognize this feeling from a time you have been injured, as well as from a time when you have been healthy,.This seeming disconnect of how lucky you think healthy people should be when you are inured, yet how NORMAL and NOT SPECIAL it is to actually be healthy, once you are.

So this morning, my girlfriend threw a book at me that she’s been reading. An old classic from 1948 called “How to stop worrying and start living” by Dale Carnegie. She encouraged me to just spend a few minutes with it, pick something that looked interesting from the table of contents and have a quick little read to start off the day in the right way.

(By the way, when I was scanning the table of contents, I realized this book might be able to teach some lessons about the right mentality one should be having in serve receive in beach volleyball (“How to stop worrying and start passing?!”), but maybe I’ll come back to this in another blogpost one day when I have read the book and played around with some concepts in it..! Ok Alex, time to refocus on the topic again.)

I ended up choosing a chapter called something like: “Would you trade a million dollars for this?” Which, fittingly, talked about being grateful for what we already have. The chapter talked about every now and then asking ourselves questions like: Would I trade my arm, or my ability to see, for a million dollars? Just to sort of see the value in things we normally take for granted. It also talked about setting up our lives so that we constantly get reminded of asking ourselves questions like this (like writing a reminder on your bathroom mirror which you’ll see every morning.)

Simply, if we, on our healthy days learned to appreciate our healthy bodies in even close to the amount we think healthy people should, when we ourselves happen to be injured - we would simply live happier and more appreciative lives. Maybe we would end up enjoying playing beach volleyball just a few percent more than we did before, if we not only use our healthy bodies for playing, but actually also realize how awesome it is to be healthy.

Maybe, if your experience of playing ball would be a few percent more awesome, maybe that will help you keep your mood up even when you hit one too many balls out of bounds, so that you are able to turn that game around and win it even though mid-match, winning looks difficult?

Maybe, in the long term, if you start turning more games around because of the example above or similar, you will become perceived as a better player by everyone else, and that will lead to greater opportunities in terms of people who want to play and practice with you?

Maybe also, in the long term, if you are a little happier every time you play, you will have that extra little motivation needed to take your practice a little bit more seriously, and as a result end up building skills that you need in the future?

(Sorry, I have to sidetrack again. I was recently reading another book that suggested that literally, the signals in your brain that are responsible for fast and accurate movement in your body, function better if you have some dopamine flowing in your brain.. So dopamine in the brain might be for your matrix-like volleyball skills a little like oil in an engine, just making sure it works the way it can. However, don’t quote me on this really yet, I still need to finish reading that whole book. But most of us can probably recall ourselves playing better when we are in a good mood, so I think there’s something to it...)

So what’s the conclusion of all of this?

I guess, we might be well served by becoming better at appreciating our healthy bodies, the possibility to play beach volleyball, the fact that we have people around us that want to spend their time playing/practicing with us, and everything else we already have. Humans are really good at seeing the things we don’t yet have, and really bad at doing the opposite.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t know what we need to work on, or where we are heading, but what I am saying is that we might actually end up heading towards our goals faster, if we spend a hint more time being happy about where we already are, and a hint less worrying about how to get where we want to go. Also, figuring out a way to easily get daily reminders of this way of thinking, might be a very good investment for our volleyball careers and lives in general.

So with that in mind, I think I’m getting close to being done with this first blogpost. Writing this was actually kinda even more fun than I thought it would be, hopefully someone will be able to extract something out of my rumblings here.

I actually haven’t yet decided how I will try to remind myself of this mindset daily myself. A part of me thinks I should do the bathroom mirror thing that was described in the book, another part of me thinks I should design my “reminder system” so that it happens right before I start playing or practicing beach volleyball instead, like maybe on a bag that I bring every time or something like that. Not sure yet.

Actually, I see a button here under the text box I’m currently typing in, that I can click. Apparently you can allow comments on a blog! I’ll go ahead and click “allow” just for the hell of it, maybe someday someone will actually read this and have a good idea on how to remind oneself to be happy for what you already have daily, and want to share it here. If you have any ideas or something that has worked for you, or some other thoughts about this first post, let me know, I am always open to learn more, and appreciate all kinds of feedback, good or bad!

Allright, so for now, have a good day.. and remember to enjoy what you already have! :) / Alex

Here’s what writing your first blogpost might look like!

Here’s what writing your first blogpost might look like!